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Monday, May 20, 2024

With a roar of laughter, the swim programs of two schools that have rivalries in more than just swim congratulated each other on a meet well-swum.

It was hard to tell who had taken the victory - UF or Georgia. Both teams were happy that they came out, swam well and had an exciting time in the pool.

The joy on their faces, though, couldn't hide the fact that this was the first meet for either team with real meaning. The joy on their faces was a sign that both teams have elite swimmers - able to brush off such an important meet with a calm laugh and an easy-going smile.

The UF men's and women's swim teams enjoyed their first home swim meet of the season in the O'Connell Center on Thursday. The men came away with 139-102 victory against No. 9 Georgia, while the women's team fell to the No. 2 Bulldogs 143-100.

The men had several solid performances in key events. Junior Shaune Fraser swam well, finishing first in all three of his events - including a 20.56-second time in the 50-yard freestyle, which was the closest race of the day.

Coach Gregg Troy was impressed with Fraser's performances, adding that it's wins like Fraser's that really mean something.

"You get in the habit of winning," he said. "The women need to get better at that."

Troy was by no means disappointed, however, with how the women swam. The women's team, composed largely of inexperienced, young swimmers, swam with a Georgia team filled with many Olympic-caliber athletes.

As in weeks past, many freshman women had times good enough to win events. Teresa Crippen swam in four events, placing first in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard butterfly. Troy took notice of how well his young women swimmers were performing, enthusiastically adding that some, especially Shara Stafford, were swimming extremely well even though they weren't ending their races in first.

UF will be back in the pool Nov. 8 against South Carolina at home.

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